Stay on Budget @PCFinancial @JoeFresh @ShoppersDrugMart @PresChoice #PCFschooled #BTS

Sad but true, summer will soon be over and we’ll all have to face back-to-school and/or back-to-work and all it entails.  Whew!  What a mouthful.  Are you feeling the pressure yet?

Disclosure: I have not been compensated to share this post other than the event and swag. The opinions on this blog are my own.

It doesn’t have to be stressful, or expensive for that matter!  I have so much to share with you, so let’s get started:  on August 3, 2016 I attended the Get Schooled PC Financial Event where I learned various tips of staying on track in an affordable manner.Stay on trend with affordable fashion.  Back to school clothes means big bucks, especially when kids want the latest trends.  Joe Fresh offers the latest looks for less and your kids may get a few more pieces for the same price you’d spend elsewhere. [you can follow hashtag #PCFschoolted across social media for all attendees’ views]  Discover a world of affordable fashion at JoeFresh.com.  The PC Financial World Elite MasterCard offers 3x the points toward future purchases. For more details visit PCFinancial.ca.

  1. Come up with lunch box ideas together.  There’s no bigger waste than seeing the sandwich you made the night before come back in its container at the end of the day.  Healthy options are important, so consider including your kids in the process and pick out a few recipes together so they feel invested in what they’ve prepared.  Try a variety of products!  Visit and even build your own collection at pc.ca/insiders.
  2. Don’t double up on supplies.  Determine what needs to go to school and what is best kept at home.  Keep the extra, easily lost items for home use.  Set out a space for homework and projects where these pieces can be easily stored and shared between all the students in your home.  Find savings at realcanadiansuperstore.ca.
  3. Stay tech-savvy.  Staying digitally connected with our kids is important, especially when they travel to and from school.  There are tons of plans out there, so it’s important to ensure you’re only paying for what you need.  PC Mobile has some great basic, kid-friendly options.  Find out all you need at pcmobile.ca.
  4. Maximize value with points.  Leverage your loyalty programs, like PC plus, when you’re buying your back-to-school necessities and every day essentials.  It’s a great way to maximize your saving.  Learn more at presidentschoice.ca.


Of course, the fun and savings doesn’t end here!  There are many other departments to discover!  To discover a world of fresh food and more visit presidentschoice.ca  and for a world of pharmaceutical supplies and beauty (hair, make-up, skincare, etc.) try shoppersdrugmart.ca.For Fall 2016 QUO has a back-to-school limited edition collection that you will absolutely love!  Note:  Joe Fresh Beauty products are available August 2016 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

You can’t say that I didn’t share a wealth of information.  With all the money you save, you can speak with a financial advisor at PC Financial to learn what is best.  It’ll depend on your needs, situation, and your stage of life.
Whatever way you choose to save money, remember that every little bit helps.

 

Discover a Fall Food Menu with Loblaws and President’s Choice #PCFall

As parents settle back into their fall routines, meal planning for families becomes more complicated. In fact, according to a recent survey from the Loblaws and President’s Choice® teams, 68% of Canadian parents have less than 10 minutes to make their child’s breakfast on a weekday.  Less than 10 minutes!  I take longer than 10 minutes to take care of my 3 cats!

Disclosure: I have been compensated to share this post. The opinions on this blog are my own.

It’s not easy to balance nutrition and creativity in such a short amount of time.  If you should have a picky eater, it’s even more difficult!  That’s why I love Loblaws and President’s Choice®; they make it easy to put together delicious and nutritious recipes. It really is easy for Canadian parents to cook in the time they actually have.

41% of parents find that their children bring home uneaten lunch items.  I know I experienced this for years, when my daughter was in primary school, mostly because she’d spend her lunch hours trying to get extra help from teachers or volunteering her services.  Many of her friends would take home uneaten lunch items as well!  Perhaps it was because lunches got boring?  Did you know that 48% of parents find it difficult to be creative with lunches for school.

It’s true, 40% of Canadian parents said they ate more dinners as a family when they were growing up than their children eat with them. It’s clear that the family dining experience is changing, and parents are feeling the effects.  With 51% of parents wishing they had more dinners with their loved ones.

For me, if I can have fast, effortless meals than I can spend more quality time with my family.  That’s what it’s all about.  Minimal effort … maximum taste … fabulous results!

The Loblaws® and President’s Choice® teams believe that fall family dining should mean eating nutritious meals that don’t eat up hours.  They’ve put together a series of recipes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); I’m happy to share one for each meal:

BREAKFAST:  Applesauce Greek Yogurt Parfait  

In two minutes or less, this healthy and satiating breakfast will help carry you from breakfast all the way through to lunch. Easy for the little ones to assemble themselves, this decadent yogurt parfait is healthy and simple to create in a pinch.

Serves: 1 person

Prep time: 2 minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy  Per serving: 220 calories, fat 3 g (of which 1 g is saturated), sodium 60 mg, carbohydrate 37 g, fibre 2 g, protein 11 g

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp PC® Organics™ Honey Almond Granola Cereal
  • 6 blueberries. [I may have used more]
  • PC® Organics™ 0% M.F. Honey Stirred Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup PC® Organics™ Sweetened Applesauce

DIRECTIONS
Layer 2 tbsp (25 mL) granola, 3 blueberries, yogurt and applesauce in a parfait glass. Top with remaining 1 tbsp (15mL) granola and 3 blueberries.

LUNCH:  Layered Salad To Go  Cheer up your lunch time routine with this colourful and nutritious salad. Make on Sunday night and chill for three ready-to-go lunches.

Serves: 3

Prep time: 20 minutes

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Per serving: 400 calories, fat 17 g, sodium 500 mg, carbohydrate 29 g, fibre 6 g, protein 35 g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (341 mL) PC® Blue Menu™ Peaches & Cream Whole Kernel Corn, drained
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups (500 mL) PC® Broccoli Slaw
  • 2 cans (213 g) PC® Blue Menu™ Wild Pacific Sockeye Salmon, drained
  • 1 pkg (238 g) PC® Organics™ Grape Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) PC® Blue Menu™ Vinaigrette – Fat Free Italian Dressing

DIRECTIONS

  1. Into three 750 mL containers with lids, layer corn, carrots, green onions, broccoli slaw, salmon and tomatoes, dividing ingredients evenly among containers. Drizzle dressing over the top. Cover. Chill until ready to pack into lunch back.
  2. Pack salad in cooler bag with a cold source. When ready to eat, give container a shake to fully dress salad.

DINNER:  Fresh and Simple Portuguese Salad  The clean and vibrant flavours of this fresh salad make it an ideal accompaniment to one of our PC® Portuguese Style Seasoned Whole Chickens. For the best flavour, let the salad stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

TIP: Kids are more likely to eat a meal they have helped prepare. Let younger kids pit olives, tear fresh coriander and mint by hand and stir the salad to combine. Older children can peel cucumbers and slice tomatoes.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Per serving: 130 calories, fat 11 g (of which 1.5 g is saturated), sodium 360 mg, carbohydrate 7 g, fibre 2 g, protein 2 g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pkg (500 g) PC® Tomatoes on the Vine, quartered
  • Half sweet red pepper, diced
  • Half English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup (125 mL) PC® Olives Whole Kalamata, pitted
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) finely diced white onion
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp PC® Organics™ Aged Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) each chopped fresh coriander and mint

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, olives, onion, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl; sprinkle with coriander and mint.

Expect More from Your Desserts #PCSummer

This year, the President’s Choice® team invites you to expect more from summer, from the food we eat, to the experiences we share. When it comes to dessert, this means juicier berries, richer chocolate, sweeter cakes and tangier tarts. To help you on your journey, they have put together the tools you’ll need to create some delicious summer sweets, including tips for crafting the ultimate ice cream bar and a delicious recipe for PC® Ice Cream Shop Flavours Watermelon Crunch Ice Cream Sandwich.

Disclosure: I have been compensated to share this post. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Do you remember me sharing my PCSummer weekend cottage getaway? While there, we created our own fun ice cream desserts! Our mini-competition was a lot of fun; we literally had access to just about everything to create our masterpieces!    Our team (team 1) was the best; in my opinion. The evidence was eaten up along with the 3 runner-ups that very night.  I loved how fun and easy it was to create our masterpieces.  I loved how we got to work together to get our desserts made.  I also loved the friendly competition.  This experience would be fun to replicate this summer; perhaps at one of many summer gatherings?  You might like to try it too!  Try it at your next:

  • Pool party
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Indoor Cool-Down Luncheon
  • It’s too hot in my hot-tub gathering
  • Summer Cottage Retreat

On Behalf of the President’s Choice® team:

The Ultimate Ice Cream Bar 

After such a long, tough winter, we truly deserve the ultimate Canadian summer – one with long, balmy evenings, plenty of time outdoors and, of course, the best in seasonal foods. When it comes to summer dining, nothing beats dessert. From fresh, sweet berries to velvety ice cream and other cool treats, summer is the absolute best time to indulge your sweet tooth.

A recent survey by the President’s Choice® team uncovered the top outdoor dining preferences across the country. The research revealed that 63 per cent of Canadians identify ice cream as part of their ideal al fresco summer dining experience. To help you get the most out of this favourite summer dessert, the President’s Choice® team has put together tips for creating the ultimate ice cream bar. This fun, interactive after-dinner treat is a great way to bring friends and family together – and an easy choice for those who expect more from their desserts.

Get Off to a Solid Start

The key to creating a perfect summer sundae is a delicious ice cream base. Choose a minimum of three flavours to appeal to different tastes – one classic like chocolate or vanilla, an indulgent flavour like cookie dough and a refreshing summer seasonal like PC® Ice Cream Shop Flavours Watermelon Crunch Ice Cream.

Stay Organized

A cute, inexpensive way to organize your ice cream treats is to place everything in simple, white bowls and use popsicle stick labels. Write the names of your treats in marker on one end.

Use Biteable Bowls

What could be more indulgent than serving dessert in a dish you can devour too? Using an edible bowl also does double duty as there is less clean up! Favourites like PC® Waffle Bowls will have your guests quite literally licking the bowl.

Tease Your Taste Buds 

Offering a selection of sweet, sour and salty toppings is a great way to elevate your ice cream sundae and create a flavour that’s one of a kind. Try topping vanilla ice cream with toasted pumpkin seeds and maple syrup or mix fresh fruit and nut brittle for a sweet and salty taste sensation.

Try Textures

Toppings with a little bit of texture create a contrast that keeps ice cream dishes interesting. Crumble cookies, chop candy pieces or sprinkle nuts to add a little crunch. Or, skip the “do-it-yourself” and try the PC® Ice Cream Shop Flavours in Chocolate Cookie Topping or Sugar Cone Topping – they instantly turn any bowl of ice cream into a party of flavours and textures. An inexpensive trick is to always put out a small bowl of coarse sea salt for texture and flavour. Sprinkle to taste.

Get Saucy

Give your guests a selection of sweet sauces and syrups to layer new flavours into their dish. Squeezable options, like PC® Caramel Syrup Ice Cream and Dessert Topping, are a great way to make sundaes quickly and easily – while cutting down on clean up time.

PC® Ice Cream Shop Flavours Watermelon Crunch Ice Cream Sandwich …

If you want to take your ice cream indulgence to the next level, try treating your taste buds with this unique recipe developed by Rob Bragagnolo, Executive Chef at the award-winning Marben restaurant in Toronto. In a spin on a classic cake or cookie base, the creamy filling is sandwiched between fresh fruit, which 60 per cent of Canadians believe should be part of the perfect summer meal. Starring PC® Ice Cream Shop Flavours Watermelon Crunch Ice Cream and topped with the ultimate Canadian sweet, PC® 100% Pure Light Maple Syrup, this scrumptious dessert is easy to assemble and even easier to enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

½​​Watermelon

4 scoops​PC® Ice Cream Shop Flavours Watermelon Crunch Ice Cream

12 leaves​Fresh mint, minced

4 Tbsp​PC® 100% Pure Light Maple Syrup

METHOD:

1. Peel the watermelon and cut 8 equal squares, 3 x 3 inches.

2. Spread an even layer of PC® Ice Cream Shop Flavours Watermelon Crunch Ice Cream on one side of the watermelon square and top with another square of watermelon to form an ice cream sandwich.

3. Reserve the sandwiches in the freezer.

4. When ready to serve, drizzle with maple syrup and top with a pinch of mint.

Serves four.